“If someone took a dump in your living room, you wouldn’t let it sit there, would you?”
— Meghan Kleon
Austin Kleon’s new book, Show Your Work! 10 Ways To Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, is refreshingly real.
He quotes his wife, illustrating his “Don’t Feed The Trolls” chapter about negative comments. There are lots of lovely specifics in this sequel, allowing a sigh of relief for those fans of Kleon’s debut, Steal Like An Artist, fearing a follow-up fade.
In his “Talk About Yourself At Parties” chapter, Kleon spells out the meaning behind the sucker-punch so many of us get staggered by again and again. “Oh, have you published anything?” is “actually a veiled way of asking, ‘Do you make any money off that?'”
There are quick, meaningful details in Kleon’s 215-page joy. He shares his own ups and downs in a creative, professional life. This isn’t the generic rah-rah narrative. He’s offering a universal attitude adjustment for everyone hoarding their one top idea. The starving, suffering artist stereotype gets shown the door here. Blog. Tell. Share.
Show Your Work! is the perfect kickstart to a productive, artistic spring. I hope Austin (and his wise wife) have more no-nonsense inspiration for us in 2015.